February Writing Challenge: Honorable Mentions — Vicky, Ishani, and Ashlee Whitt

These entries from February's challenge were selected as Honorable Mentions. Those who completed this challenge are now encouraged to share their stories in the comments section of the article "February Writing Challenge."


"Haunted?" by Rachel Kertz
“Haunted?” by Rachel Kertz


The house had been vacant many years. You see, an old couple had died and had not mentioned the house in the will. It had gone to the bank.

When the bank got a hold of it they came to the conclusion that it was just to old and run down to make any money on the market, so they left it alone. Forgotten and abandoned. Perhaps just the way that the pair had intended.

Skip to the present, the legend goes like this. The two had kept it run down and given it to none of the five children because after their death they wanted to come back and stay at the house until it decayed itself out of existence.

People say that, at sunset, you can see the folks sitting on the rooftop star gazing. You can hear the rough chuckle of the man and the sweet laughter of the woman, as they talk and joke the night away.

So the house was never actually abandoned, it’s more full of life than ever. You just have to look a little more closely.




Hauntingly Real

I looked through the cracked windows of my eerie dwelling. My eyes lazily scanned the still and quiet prairie in front of me. ‘What could possibly be out there?’ I wondered out loud. But of course, no one could hear me. No one has been able to hear me for a very long time. I have lived my whole life in this house. Many would call me crazy for staying here for so long especially since the house is supposedly haunted. But the truth is, this place is much more than wood that has been worn down over many years. This house has secrets. Secrets that are good, bad and maybe even scandalous. The windows have seen countless nights of twinkling stars and numerous deep orange sunrises.  The walls have heard stories of travelers that pass through the prairie. The chairs have squeaked and groaned under the pressure of all those endless nights of people’s behinds sitting on them. This house will never get rid of its secrets. All of them will exist until the last piece of wood, or glass wears away and becomes one with the earth. I have always been watching, and listening to the stories and secrets. Each one of them is etched into my brain permanently. In my life I have heard over 600 stories and 800 secrets. Now, you must be thinking, ‘How do they not notice her sitting there, listening intently?’

Ah, that my friend is a whole other secret itself. My secrets are hidden in between the folds of my colors. See, I believe that people are like rainbows. They are happy on the outside, which directly correlates to the bright colors like red, orange, and yellow. But the next three to four layers are dark colors like green, blue, and purple. The happy colors have the lightest secrets and are filled with pots of gold, sunshine, and happiness. But on the inside, there are unknown monsters and the deepest of all secrets. I’m guessing that my secret is in between blue and purple.

‘What really IS the meaning of a good life?’ I asked to no one in particular. Yet again, no one could hear me. It’s a funny thing, hearing, that is. I can hear my sister washing the dishes for the next round of travelers but she can’t hear me talking.I hear her talking to me sometimes, and I so badly want to reply. But I can’t. It’s impossible for me to talk to her when she stands at my grave weeping. Oops. Guess my secret is out…



Ashlee Whitt

The Happy House

My friends and I have been coming to this old, dilapidated house for years. It all began when we were in eighth grade. We were all so nervous about starting high school; the pressure to fit and become like everybody else. We wanted our own place to escape, so we decided to visit this home. Sure, this home looked haunted and belonged in a horror movie but we gave it a chance.

The whole town feared this home, because rumor was that a young lady had been murdered there a century ago. Supposedly, she roamed the house and the surrounding land looking for her killer. I have always been terrified of this house, but my friend Naomi convinced me to wander out there after school. We rode our bikes until we felt as if we’d been peddling for days. Our legs were numb with exhaustion. The house was out in the middle of nowhere and we were terrified that the rumors were true. We left our bikes hidden in the grown up cornfield. Slowly, we crept up to the door and the house cast a shadow on us as we walked. The door wasn’t locked, so we pushed it open. It creaked and sighed as though it hadn’t been used in centuries. It was completely dark, so we used our flashlights to search for a light switch, but none was found. Evidently the house was so ancient that it didn’t even have electricity. We stood in the doorway shining our flashlights in every direction. The home was completely bare, no couch or kitchen. It was like we had just stepped into a time machine. We wandered through the whole home. We found an old chest upstairs that had a few letters in it from World War 1. They were all love letters saying how much they missed each other and how they couldn’t wait until the war was over. It was so sweet, but those letters didn’t fit in with the picture I had of the type of person who used to live in this house. Naomi and I decided to go through some old newspapers and gather the real story.

As we read through hundreds if not thousands of newspapers, we discovered that the house was never a murder scene. All the stories we had heard our whole lives were false. Instead, the home had belonged to a family. The young girl had been in love with a soldier who fought in World War 1. Her fiancé had died and there were innumerable memorials for him. It seemed he was a very popular and well-liked man. The girl whose name was Dorothea Yancey had spent all her time at the gravesite. She never left him until the day she died. She never loved another and I was convinced that her grief killed her at the young age of thirty-nine. The house we all thought was a dark, mysterious murder scene was actually a place of love and family.

After Naomi and I told the rest of our friends about our new discovery, they decided to come see for themselves. We all spent the night upstairs in the attic and talked for hours. The floors creaked whenever one of us laughed until we fell over, which happened quite often.  We had such a wonderful time sharing secrets and our astonishment about discovering the true story of this house. If only the walls could talk and share their stories. After that first night, we spent at least one night a month at that home. We nicknamed it “The Happy House”, because nobody would ever guess where we were going. We wanted this place to be only ours, which was exactly what it became.



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